Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Phil Squod has had ___________.

2. The High Chancellor Mr. Tulkinghorn, serves as ___________.

3. Esther feels Richard is far too ___________.

4. Nemo is ___________.

5. Mr. Guppy suggests to Lady Dedlock that ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Miss Flite, and what is her interest? What is the significance of her birds?

2. How does Jo affect Dickens' story? Is he a sympathetic character?

3. What makes Lady Dedlock's past such a dreaded secret? Why do they go to such lengths to hide it and why is it threatening to have it revealed by Tulkinghorn?

4. Who is Volumnia Dedlock? Discuss her role and her physical appearance.

5. Richard Carstone has a strange way of seeing money. How does Esther illustrate his propensity to rationalize his spending?

6. What is the significance of the "beadle" arriving at Nemo's death scene if any? What is the beadle?

7. Dickens brings poverty and wealth together to create intrigue in the story's plot. What is young Jo's involvement in the plot and why is he important?

8. Describe the general scene in the Chancery hearings on the Jarndyce suit, and London, as it is set by Dickens in the first chapter. Is there anything attractive or alluring about the ambience of either?

9. How did Gerge get so embroiled in the plot of this story? What is his role?

10. Discuss Mr. Guppy's pursuit of Esther as he follows her around the city. How would this be viewed today?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Dickens describes Tulkinghorn's funeral as having many empty carriages for absent mourners. Research this practice and write an essay on its origins, its meaning, and its demise.

Essay Topic 2

A "beadle" was something of a cross between a police officer and church official. Research the role of beadles in England in the 1800s. How did society view them at that time? It is helpful to re-read Chapter 11 of Bleak House about the beadle's arrival at Krook House at the time of Nemo's death.

Essay Topic 3

Find two pieces of literary criticism on Bleak House that do not agree with one another. Write an essay that provides your own opinion of the criticisms, whether you agree or disagree with them, and why.

(see the answer keys)

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